Merredin Energy has officially commissioned its new $93 million power station designed to support supply of power to metropolitan Perth.
The station, in the Wheatbelt town of Merredin, has the capacity to produce 82 megawatts of power to be funnelled into the grid at times of peak power consumption.
Such times could include extremely hot days or when there are disruptions to gas supply.
Two diesel-fuelled gas turbine generators power the station, which are intended to provide quick response to power demands.
The station sits on a transmission line linking Perth to its main source of power – the coal fired Collie and Muja power stations operated by Verve Energy, which have the combined capacity to produce 1,194 megawatts of power.
Merredin’s new station is also designed to support supply from renewable energy generators, such as the $750 million Colgar wind farm, which has the potential to produce 206 megawatts.
The wind farm began production in May 2011, but Merredin Energy director Shane Jones said the booming Western Australian economy created the need for improved security of supply.
“The increase in infrastructure and mining projects in WA are adding to the strain put on the already stretched SWIS with excess generation capacity being used-up by the growing number of customers reliant on the power supplied from the system,” Mr Jones said.
Power from Merredin’s plant will be sold to the wholesale electricity market, which will pay for the fully available capacity and the on-call energy generated.